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PWALPOCO

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Hi everyone ,

Im a rocket newbie and have just had my first taste of rocket launching this weekend. A freind of mine had received an Estes Code Red from a mutual freind of ours and all three of us went off to a large open area we know of to carry out three launches using Estes C6-5 motors. :)

Launch 1 and 2 appeared to go off pretty flawlessly though we quickly apreciated that you cant have enough space in which to recover your rocket !

There was only very very light winds and we guess that the rocket would have achieved the guide altitude of 180m, but the distance to the landing point seemed to be about 300-400 away !

Perhaps someone can tell me what happened on launch 3 ? The rocket seemed to launch cleanly , but had a curved angle of flight and then after the delay burnt through the motor gave off quite a flash/pop. The recovery wasnt very clean at all , the chute didnt deploy well and when it landed , only about 15m from the launch site it became apparent that most of the chute lines had burned away.

What caused the recovery phase to occur like this ? Do the top charges in motors sometimes POP dramatically, was the curved trajectory indicative of something wrong with the motor ? Was there a newbie error we made somewhere which caused the nosecone to resist the recovery charge ?

** EDIT START**
The rocket carried the same amount of wadding on each trip and was packed in a similar manner.
** EDIT END**

Not a major disaster but it would be nice to know if this was one of those things that just happens or if you guys have seen this before and know how to prevent it !

In the meanwhile , I think Im going to be looking to get a rocket of my own !

Paul
 

sandman

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First welcome aboard the greatest rocketry forum...EVER!!

A couple of thing could have happened.

Temperature can affect a rocket motor (freeze/thaw cycles), the wadding could...I say COULD have been packed too tightly (possible but not likely).

Or...my gut feeling...a bad motor...yes it happens more than you might think.

The motor could have been damaged in transit long before you got the motor. (heavy jarring causing something to come loose).

This could have only affected that one motor too...who knows.

Basically I don't think it was anything you did.

If it was an Estes motor they will make it right (although their warrenty may work differently in the UK. I don't know how you would contact them.)

sandman
 

PWALPOCO

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Many thanks for your input there sandman.

It seems to me that some of the factors there would have been out of me or my freinds control regarding the state of the motor.

Wadding seems to be the only thing there which we may have had a hand in.

Do you guys like leave your wadding fluffed up to occupy the void between the top of the motors and recovery system / nosecone or do you close it up more like a loose barrier ?

Just wondering .....

Paul

PS .... my freinds dropped by between posts to tell me what they are going to get next LOL
 

Steward

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I agree with Sandman as well....but in answer to your question about wadding...You don't want it too tight (from stuffing it too hard), nor do you want it packed leaving any space around it... That would certainly allow hot gas and particles to reach the shrouds and parachute... You described it as "fluffy"...I would think that is how you want it... Also make sure your nosecone isn't binding...you want it somewhat loose...
The more you do it ...the more comfortable you will become...as with most everything practice makes perfect... Have fun...!!!
 

astrowolf67

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I would say the problem is probably the motor. The ejection charges in Estes motors vary quite a bit. One motor might be perfect, the next, might be like you had, powerful, and the next might not be enough to push the chute out. I'm not sure how Estes would handle warranty claims given your location, but, they are pretty good at making things right.

You mentioned the burned shroud lines, but not a shock cord seperation. Before flying that particular rocket again, check the entire shock cord for burns. If it appears dark, or brittle, replace it, and use twice the length of the original. Also, to help reduce drift, create a spill hole by cutting the Estes logo out of the center of the chute. As long as you aren't landing on pavement, it'll still land softly enough to prevent damage, and have much less drift.
 

PWALPOCO

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Thanks all for your comments :)

All 3 of us had a good time and are looking at other model variations ..... my freinds Code Red has now started us off on something new it seems !

My assesment of "the damage" from the bottom to the top of the rocket was ;

Motor : Seemed to have some blackened remains which crumbled out when inspected. As a newbie I cant say wether this is "normal" and I mentally dont recall if this kind of deposit was evident in the previous 2 launches.

Theres a ring inside the Rocket body that the Motor sits up against when you load it. Is this a "centering ring" ? Or does it have another name ? "Motor Mount" perhaps ? My memory was that this appeared intact.

Theres also basically like a locking cap which sits at the thrusting end of the motor and this cap attaches to the rocket body. (Help me out here , whats that bit called ?) This all looked fine with no damage.

Rocket Body : I do recall there was some black staining on the interior wall of the main body of the rocket , but it didnt physically appear damaged.

Shock Cord: Did appear blackened in places , but again the actual cord seemed only discoloured and seemed free of tares or rips.

Chute Lines: The majority of these appeared to have burned clean through in places.

Chute: I dont recall the condition of the chute itself, from memory I dont beleive my freind opened it out after flight 3. All I do remember was that at the edge where the chute lines used to be , there were hardly any left ! LOL

Im fairly confident that the nosecone section was adequately "insecure". Oddly although Im a newbie with rockets, im not a newbie when it comes to things going "bang". Nothing sinister , but my place of work involves materials that need some respect in handling. Many of the production buildings have deliberately weakened roof's , in the event of an explosion, the roof gives way , releasing any explosive force upwards to safety rather than trying to contain the force and potentially destroying the building entirely.

So yep , the significance of not "resisting" the top charge on the motor wasnt lost on me , or my freinds but it was on the "suspects" list none the less !

So , we come back to the motor malfunctioning, or being a little overzealous with the top charge , or the wadding being too tight !

I think we shall experiment with the wadding density next time. I suspect that based on our lack of experience the chances are more likely we over packed the wadding than we fell victim to "bad" motor.

So , next up on the merry bands shopping list is the Estes Missile Command Set .... and the rumours are that a Bull Pup and Phoenix kit are on the cards too ........ will have to find out what they are meant to be like .............

Paul
 

cydermaster

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First up - welcome to the forum, Paul. Good to see another Brit around here. :D

Originally posted by PWALPOCO
So , next up on the merry bands shopping list is the Estes Missile Command Set .... and the rumours are that a Bull Pup and Phoenix kit are on the cards too ........
Take a look at the Estes Big Bertha kit. Great for limited size launch sites. If you haven't found it yet, Deepsky is probably the best on-line vendor, this size of the pond. Give his range a butcher's.
 

sandman

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PWALPOCO,

Ahhh the lines were BURNED THROUGH! That's different.

Here is what (I think) happend.

The motors had a difference but not big...a normal "difference"

There may have more..."solids" in the residue of the third motor, totally harmless...except to white T-shirts! Hard to clean off! The third motor just didn't burn as "clean.

This cause a few things to happen. The solids prabably built up on the motor nozzle causing it to vear off a but, the solids also probably built un enough that the ejection charge was a bit stronger, You may not have packed the chute "exactly" like the first two. You may have left the shroud lines exposed enough for them to burn through.

My 2 pence.

sandman
 

rabidsheeep

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yes, the motor normally has black stuf crumble out... never sniff it... whoo is that stuff wild...

the ring your referring to is the engine block that is supossed to stop the engine from jumping up into the rocket...

black staining is normal enough...

shock cords sometimes do get scarched... (is that how you spell that?)

chute lines... if you used enough recovery wadding i dunno if that shoulda happened... it was either two tight, not enough, or the chute lines were under the wadding... same thing goes for the chute...

if by insecure with the nosecone section just take some tape and wrap it around the bottom so its a snug fit...

as for your next rockets...

if you wanna get a d engine rocket i would go with big daddy... its a bit simpler than the pheonix and it is awesome in flight...

if your good and have a bit of patience, and wanna get a glider thats awesome try the aurora...

if u wanna have a mass of fun at your next launch, get one of those egg payloaders... i love them lol...

just one more thing, if you have a wide body try some of that organic wadding they have because its a bit easier to cover wide spaces...
 

PWALPOCO

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Many thanks all for your input , I think my freinds and I are going to put this one down to "we think its the motor what dunnit".


< Ticks Apropriate Box on the "Why it went wrong" report >


Will pay more atttention when its "my" Rocket thats come down sans chute ! :eek:

Cydermaster, likewise its good to see another Brit about too. In what appears to be quite an American dominated subject itll be good to know theres someone "local" whos brains I can pick !

My freinds Mark and Alan have done lots of searching about and the site youve suggested has cropped up a few times. Ol Bertha may get a look in if we carry on with rocketry......

Sandman
I didnt realise my white t-shirts could be in so much jeopardy ..... those pesky motors wont get me ....... ! :mad:

Right then lads , pending a UN Weapons inspector popping his head round the door telling me exactly why our Weapon of Self Destruction went belly up I consider this thread closed !



Paul
 

Silverleaf

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Howdy Paul and welcome to the wonderful world of rocketry...you may not be aware of this, but you've just entered a realm of love and addiction that only golf can compare to. Ok, so if your not a golfer, you may not see that comparison, but its there..8)

Ok, since we can't do anything about Estes variance in ejection charge strength, we can however focus on minimizing your damage/dismay on subsequent launches using Estes motors. So on to a few ideas to help you to in the future.

Your friends may already have a range kit - If you don't have one, get yourself a tackle box - or even a larger rocketry box with handles will suffice - and start adding small items to it, extra parts, motors, Mosquito repellant, etc. So to add a few must haves to that range kit:

When you buy your next kit, be it locally or through an online source, buy a couple extra parachutes in different sizes - within the range/size of those that go with the rockets you plan to build/fly. Then put them together, and place them each seperately into a ziplock bag with a bit of baby powder. The baby powder helps to keep the chute from sticking in warmer weather, and its one less step you have to think of in an emergency.

Then after each launch, triple check each fastener and string on the parachutes, and if you see some damage, simply replace the entire chute.

For your smaller rockets you can use a Snap Swivel - available at your local fishing supply store in packets of 5 or so. I use the size 5 by Laker called Brass Snap Swivel - product # SS15.

They are very stable and for smaller motors in the D range and down theycan withstand a ton of stress. I've had 40 pound Muskeys stressing them before, and the spider wire gave up the ghost before those did. lol

Secondly, buy extra wadding, and take the time to pre-tear it to the size you need for each rocket - then place it inside a ziplock bag - saves time and trouble on windy days.

Thirdly, buy a few small kits and build them in advance and have them with you - the mosquitoe is a killer to have for the kiddies that might show up, and in my opinion, any rocketeer has an obligation to share our wonderful hobby with the next generation. Who knows, you might be responsible for the next Einstein 8)

Extra batteries, a copy of the Handbook of Model Rocketry and an extra set of whip clips are must haves as well.

In closing, I wanted to say welcome once again to a fantastic hobby, and to the Rocketry Forum.

Cheers,
 

NewEntity1

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I would also like to recommend the Estes Big Daddy as your next rocket. Its extremely easy to build, and very stable. It gives low, slow flights as well, making it good for small fields.

After one or two more rockets, then you'll be ready for a phoenix. The phoenix is a really nice rocket, and an attention grabber at any launch; however its a bit complicated ( I think)...and its a rocket you would hate to make a mistake in the building process that would cause you to lose the rocket :)
 

sandman

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Guys remember something important here.

PWALPOCO is in the UK. E and larger motors are not redily available (not sure about the "D"s)

Stick with the Big Bertha or the Fliskit Rhino for a first "kit" to build.

sandman
 

cydermaster

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Originally posted by sandman
PWALPOCO is in the UK. E and larger motors are not redily available (not sure about the "D"s)
Yep; the only Es we can get over here are more to do with going out clubbing, than launching rockets! :D

We can get the full range of Estes 24mm Ds, though, so a Big Daddy isn't out of the question (infact I intend to get one myself, I've heard nothing but good reports about it). I would heed Sandman's advice, and get a Big Bertha/Rhino, 'cos the Big Daddy needs a thicker launch rod.

We can't get 24mm Cs, for some reason. I think its 'cos they've not been CE certified - BACK OFF BRUSSELS! ;)
 

PWALPOCO

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Hi all again ,

heheh , and I thought this thread had run its course ...... :)

Anyway yes , as the "level headed" on of our trio Ive been trying to nudge my gang into the line of thinking of getting spares together a kit box to stow them in , and promoting the idea of using smaller motors on first flights so we can gauge what needs doing before going for the C's.

Most of this theyve agreed to and some more RTF kits have arrived at my freinds place but the Vendor Ive gone with is not going to be able to supply till WC 5/1/04.

So , weve gone from having 1xRTF to having 3xRTF kits with a total of 5 rockets ....... PLUS 2 or 3 rockets from the Lauhchables series and in the mid term a Bull Pup kit to build , and then a Phoenix. OMG 10 Rockets !!!! Weve created a monster !!!

Basically amongst the "bits n pieces" , the number of kits and the few spares, my motly crew should be able to keep a reasonable number of rockets serviceable.

As for motors , I think most things we'd want to put in the air will run on Cs except some of the heavier beasts which only run on Ds or more.

I think Ive posted elsewhere ..... WE WANNA RUN WITH AEROTECHS !! Sorry Estes , your A-C motors are nice n all and certainly do the Biz ...... but when that Phoenix flies .... I wanna see some pretty awesome "white lightning" during the flight ...... just gotta do that legal paperwork ......

Paul
 

sandman

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Basically amongst the "bits n pieces" , the number of kits and the few spares, my motly crew should be able to keep a reasonable number of rockets serviceable.

HEY...I know what THAT means! LOL.

Well, rather than have to go through all the bother of Aerotech (ie. paperwork) why don't you branch off into building clusters.

Actuall a lot more fun IMHO.

sandman
 

PWALPOCO

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Ummm , honestly , the lads and I have pushed on to get "spares" , honestly honestly honestly :cool:

Ive thought about clusters n so on ...... tho I wouldnt want to scratch build something like that tho Id be up to perhaps buying a RTF / Kit to see how it works. Tho , comeon , I wanna see my birds in flight , youre not going to deprive me of a decent exhaust plume are you ? :confused: Lemme do some Aerotechs !!

From what I can see theres a curve on how Id like to progress. Id like to fly single stagers first , then maybe toy with multi-stage or clusters, and then start scratch building when I know how all this stuff is put together and how its all meant to work. Hence some kits early on !

I can see the local trio going in all directions. For myself , I think Im going to be a gadget geek. You know , like getting those data recorders on the flight , or maybe vidcam somehow ( one day ! ) , that kind of thing. Nice slow visually and audibly impressive launches are my thing !

My freind Alan ( Hes joined the forum as ntrance I think ) will end up being the altitude freak for sure ! He looks at just one thing on the vendors websites ....... Altitude xxxx ft !! :rolleyes:

Mark on the other hand has got a thing about "size" (Ooooeeer !) ..... if hes taller than the rocket then he doesnt want to know ! Well thats not quite true , however , hes decided to buy the tallest rocket to hand, allegedly because he beleives he will still be able to see it ....... at 1000ft !! :eek:

So there you go , a bit of variety there in our tastes ....


Paul
 
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